Saturday, April 4, 2015

This wasn't the plan... well, my plan...

Talk about being nervous to work 5 hours in a store. This was something brand new. I had no idea what I was doing. I knew only the two people I walked into the store with. My Aunt and my Boo. We were doing this for the Bean. For Elite softball. I'd been asked to babysit the Williams that night. I would rather have been doing that...
but who could have known what would come next!
The Missouri Mavericks are a hockey team based out of Independence, MO. They were established in 2009. They were about 6 weeks into their 5th season when I walked into that teamstore. They were playing in the CHL when I worked that first game on December 7th. It was the first time I'd been in the rink. I didn't even own black pants; good thing Mary Shepherd did.
At 5:30, doors open. In come the people. It was fun. It was loud. And it was busy in that teamstore. I like those things. There were other Game Time Staff working, too. I knew who a few of them were by sight from Syd's team, but didn't really know them. One GTS lady was really nice to me. She had been there a lot of times. She told me if I liked it so much, I should tell the boss; she was looking to hire someone part-time. The boss, Nicki, was a pretty lady who had absolute control. She was very confidant; you could tell she was smart. Two other girls were there with her. Teresa and Victoria. They had everything ready for us to go, they knew the computers. They were good at what they did. Way better that I could I ever be, I thought. I worked on the floor. Talking to people, helping find sizes, always straightening. Loving the continual flow of people and having something to do.
Standing by the door to the concourse watching the game during the 2nd period, I smiled and said out loud to no one in particular, "My kids would love this!" Nicki was close by and heard me. She said, "You don't look old enough to have kids." I said, "Well, I don't. They are two cuties I nanny for." She asked me more about them and what all my job entailed. Her eyes got big and she said, "I've been looking for a you." This was the beginning of the end of life as I knew it in Missouri. I left that night with 5 tickets to the next game, a free burger coupon for 54th Street, and an interview. The woman who would soon become my boss at the Mavericks showed very clearly who she was that first time I ever met her: she was hard-working. She was tough as all get out. She was caring.
And she was extremely giving.
When I went back for my interview, I was again very nervous. "I know nothing about working a store," I thought. I just do kids and playing and cooking and cleaning... how was I going to do this job!? The answer? Lots of hard work. Lots of good training. Lots of messing up. Lots of POD runs. And lots of hockey games.
Now, at the end of the 6th Season, I've grown to love the Topshelf Teamstore! Think I'm crazy all you want, but it seriously is one of my favorite places to be... because I LOVE the people I work with and what we do while we're there. I've been pushed hard to learn and grow. To do my best. To aim not for good, but for GREAT!
Teresa and I became managers in August of 2014. This was a big step from my 20 hours a week I'd been doing when I was hired. Nicki's plan was to work one season as our boss, and then to be able to be out... back home to her own flock of sports players in the making. The Mavericks were a family affair: husband running the upstairs, wife running the downstairs, and the kids running the whole arena with their cuteness. Those 6 are not only my bosses and cuties that I spend a lot of time with, they are also my friends. They have shown themselves to continually be: hard-working, confidant, caring, and SO giving.
The foursome which were the Teamstore girls during our 5th Season was a crew alright! Teresa, Victoria, Mallory, and I have become good friends. They make me laugh and we hang out and do fun stuff together. Teresa and I work together very closely now. She is one of my best friends. We are opposites in many ways, but funny enough, those opposite areas are what make us work so well together... we are pretty much an old married couple. It's always gonna be ok at the end of the day. She's got my back, and I have hers.
This season has been exciting, FULL of change, very difficult, a huge amount of work, and I've LOVED it. As strange as it sounds to say, this little GA girl LOVES hockey! I love the upstairs staff and our Game Time Staff. Love the bosses and love the players. Mac, our mascot has ALWAYS been my favorite. One of the best people I've gotten to meet is the guy who keeps the rink looking nice. Ron ALWAYS has a smile on his face and has time to ask you how you're doing. He remembers that it's about the little things.
So, no. I didn't really want to volunteer that night for the Mavs. But I did it for my aunt. And I can't even begin to tell you the blessings that have followed from that one choice... 
It wasn't my plan... but it was HIS.
I'm SOO thankful that HE brought the Missouri Mavericks into my life! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's been a long time, friends.

Hi! It's me again... that girl from GA who lives in MO who adores people way more than any other blessing there is on this gorgeous earth of ours... Yeah. Me. :) I hope you're doing well. I've taken a LONG break from blogging. I've not even always kept up with FB. I've been doing better about that lately. I miss you all and want to stay connected.This week has gotten me to thinking about this blog, and I thought, "Why not pick that back up... if nothing else than to catch up the past year..." That it's been 4 years now since I made the choice that this would become my home, BLOWS my MIND! But, here we are, coming up on May 26th... for the 4 year anniversary mark of "Living in the Sunshine." Wow. Lots has happened
So, I plan to tell you about my life. Our apartment. The Missouri Mavericks. A couple incredible families of 6. My co-manager. My red car. How much I love the Royals. Really just how much I love baseball and softball in general. That I'm not scared to drive a golf cart anymore. How mad I can get these days. How much I LOVE Sour Patch Kids. How cuddling baby Teagan was one of the sweetest things I've ever done. Not to mention the awesomeness which is getting a whole stack of letters in the mail!
Speaking of which,
I just read all the letters and honestly, I feel like I just went home for a week!! It did me that much good. They make me smile, bring back great memories, make me cry, and they make me laugh out loud! There are so many little elements of love and care written into the pages of these letters. It cannot be put into words, but it can be put into my heart. I treasure that my Moma and lil sister write me often, with letters from other family members making history in my weeks when they arrive as well!
It's too late to start telling you everything about my life now. For now, just know: This is a happy little girl who just had a very busy, sweet, funny, good, hard, emotional, God-focused week! Who saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Who watched the rain, saw flowers budding, and listened to birds sing. Who drove a lot of hours and never went more than 50 miles from home. Who made new friends, saw old friends, and prayed for all of them. Who knew she was loved by HIM first, and true friends and dear family next. Who is putting Heaven as the #1 goal in life, and thankful for all those who push her to keep on keeping on!
What a good week! So happy that tomorrow is Sunday; it's time to start all over!
"I will enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter His courts with praise.--
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!"